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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shocka: IAEA says Iran has more nuclear facilities

The New York Times reports that the IAEA is 'highly skeptical' that the Qom facility is the only Iranian nuclear facility that had not been reported to the IAEA as of September.
In unusually tough language, the International Atomic Energy Agency appeared highly skeptical that Iran would have built the enrichment plant without also constructing a variety of other facilities that would give it an alternative way to produce nuclear fuel if its main centers were bombed. So far, Iran has denied that it built other hidden sites in addition to the one deep underground on a military base about 12 miles north of the holy city of Qum. The inspectors were given access to the plant late last month and reported that they had found it in “an advanced state” of construction, but that no centrifuges — the fast-spinning machines needed to make nuclear fuel — had yet been installed.

The inspectors said Iran had “provided access to all areas of the facility” and planned to complete it by 2011. They also said they had been unable to interview its director and designers.

The inspectors confirmed American and European intelligence reports that the site had been built to house about 3,000 centrifuges, enough to produce enough material for one or two nuclear weapons a year. But that is too small to be useful in the production of fuel for civilian nuclear power, which is what Iran insists is the intended purpose of the site.
Actually, there is something shocking about this report: It's shocking that the IAEA has actually admitted it. I wonder if that would have happened if Mohamed ElBaradei were not leaving his post next month.

What could go wrong?

More here and here.


At 6:44 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

How extensive is Iran's nuclear program?

I'd bet its more extensive than we know - and there's a lot the IAEA isn't telling us.


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